Series 1, Episode 4
Bomb Title
Air date 30 November 1982
Written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer
Directed by Paul Jackson
Episode Guide

The episode opens with footage of a flying bomber dropping a payload, revealed to be a huge red atom bomb that lands into the quartet's house unexploded. Neil fails to notice the real reason for an enormous hole in the ceiling when he got out of bed to do the breakfast, assuming that one of his flatmates had put it there somehow. Eventually Vyvyan points out that the atom bomb is perched against the refrigerator. The initial panic is diverted by the arrival of a sadistic television licence officer who wants blood, but soon the quartet returns to the emergency at hand. Mike tries negotiating with Libya in an attempt to make a profit out of the bomb while Rick uses the bomb with attempts to make threats to the British government (his efforts at sending a threatening telegram through the Post Office fail when it turns out he has mistakenly walked into the DHSS).

Neil, ever the pragmatist, sets out his personal survival plan ("I'm going to consult the incredibly helpful Protect and Survive manual!") and Vyvyan tries to quicken up the detonation procedure. The final tick of the clock prior to 'explosion' proves to be a little disappointing, with the bomb hatching like an egg and a small aeroplane emerging out of the bomb, flying out of the room and circling outside the house (thus implying the bomb was merely an 'egg' of the bomber).


Click here for transcript to this episode. [Note: the site denotes this episode as no. 3, rather than 4.]


  • The episode features a performance from Dexys Midnight Runners performing a cover of Van Morrison's "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)".
  • A cut-away sketch 'Dicky and Dino' parodies The Rat Pack, primarily their family-friendly image as depicted in television specials (and the inherent contrast this provides with their supposed involvement with organised crime).
  • Notice that when the gang switches on the TV to find out what's going on, the picture of the test card is actually stuck onto the TV, and the camera swings around to hide this fact after the TV has outlived its usefulness.